Why Crappy Content Torpedoes Your Company’s Bottom Line
Jakob Nielsen has a lot to answer for.
Back in 1997, the Danish web usability consultant taught us that: “People don’t read online.”
I hear that all the time.
I think a more accurate statement is: “People don’t read boring stuff online.”
Yep, words can be boring.
But content … really great content? The kind of content that sparks conversation, proves a point and helps sell your products or services?
What’s even more exciting is when phones ring, orders pile in, and your company’s profit-ometer goes haywire.
… That’s the dream.
But I know what you’re thinking.
“I can’t afford a professional content writer.”
“My customers don’t have time to read.”
“I can write my own content for my website. I don’t need you, Paul.”
All good points.
Admittedly, hiring a professional alphabet wrangler is an expense some businesses can ill afford …
… Until they realise how much money is being left on the table by not hiring a pro.
For other businesses, content writing is discounted as a wordsmithing activity.
But anyone who thinks content writing is just words 1) is wrong and 2) probably won’t achieve a hint of the success they could.
Think about it this way:
You wouldn’t dream of sending salespeople out on the shop floor without the knowledge required to guide your customers, answer questions, overcome objections, and close the sale.
Why should your website content – your online salesperson – be treated any differently?
And it’s not too late.
But before you begin bashing your keyboard in the hope of producing something that will resonate with your ideal customers, I urge you to think about the following:
1. How is your content performing currently?
Creating a couple of blogs a month or frequently posting on social media may feel productive (hey, this writing malarkey is easy), but the content you produce MUST have a greater purpose than hooking eyeballs.
Try asking yourself the following question before hitting publish:
“What’s the next action I want someone to take?”
Has the blog been written to entice the reader to click through to your product page? Are you keen to get them to sign up as an email subscriber?
If you’re creating social media content, are you asking them to share it, so you can later remarket to them and anyone else who views it?
Put simply, avoid creating fluffy content that’s afraid to ask for the sale … it wastes your time and adds zero to your bottom line.
Pro tip: A fantastic way to learn how your content is performing currently (and what you can do if it’s failing miserably) is to carry out a comprehensive content audit. Contact me for more details.
2. Do you have the skill to produce content?
Creating your own content is a cost-effective way to get words on your website …
… but do you have the requisite skills to plan and write content based on the unique needs of your customers AND their varying stages of awareness?
Do you trust yourself more than a professional?
Whilst I could have a go at cutting my own hair, for example, it’ll be nowhere near the standard of a professional barber… and I’m likely to lose a bit of street cred in the process.
This is an important metaphor to keep in mind.
To avoid your site becoming a mishmash of messages dragged from the mouths of CEOs, sales staff and customer service reps, it’s vital to engage the services of an expert copywriter to help customers connect their pain with your company’s solution.
Pro tip: Hiring a professional copywriter may seem expensive, but it pales in comparison to the long-term losses you’re likely to incur by trusting an amateur to write content for your website.
3. Do you have the time to produce content?
If you’re anything like other business owners I talk to on a regular basis, I know that time is something you don’t have a lot of.
And regularly producing great content for your site can be an onerous process.
In the beginning, you’ll probably jump at the chance to write a blog or post on social media (anything’s better than dealing with payroll, amarite?) but as the days and weeks and months roll on, the novelty of content begins to wear off.
It’s only natural.
Your blog becomes an afterthought. Your social channels are left to rot. Your audience switches off. Or moves to a competitor.
Rather than torturing yourself or trying to force content to meet an arbitrary quota in your head, try to take a step back and decide in the beginning whether you can devote time to producing the kind of words that will reach, nurture and convert your audience.
Pro tip: If you or your employees can’t or won’t dedicate time to producing great content, I can help. Contact me today for an informal chat about your company’s needs.
Whether your business has a website or is in the process of creating one, I want you to ignore Jakob Nielsen.
People DO read online.
But it’s your responsibility to make sure your website isn’t turning them off.